At the end of 2013, Transparency International Lithuanian Chapter (TI Lithuania) signed an agreement with the Human Rights Monitoring Institute, the designated implementers of the EEC Financial Mechanism “NGO Programme” in Lithuania. In January 2014, TI Lithuania began implementing the project “Towards a Transparent Lithuania”.
The primary goals of “Towards a More Transparent Lithuania” are to reinforce the role of civil society in the decision-making process affecting the nation, to encourage the development of a society that is informed, willing to exercise its right to know and demands accountability from its decision-makers, and to encourage transparency, openness and good governance in public institutions.
With this project, TI Lithuania seeks:
1) To reinforce its ability to sustainably participate in the legislative process, in shaping policy and engaging in analytical work in the fields of institutional openness, transparency and the participation of the citizenry in decision-making at local, regional and national levels.
2) To increase its influence in legislative and political initiatives in the fields of freedom of information, institutional openness and regulation of the fiscal and legal environment of NGOs, and to increase the number of people and organisations that are willing and able to exercise their right to know.
3) To reinforce its ability to sustainably raise funds from the public and to further diversify its funding sources, ensuring the organisation is able to plan and implement TI Lithuania strategic activities more effectively.
In the course of implementing this project, TI Lithuania will prepare sustainable methodology for two inquiries – researching the openness of institutions operating at municipal and national levels, and further undertaking research of all institutions at the municipal level and select institutions at a national level. In addition, TI Lithuania will seek to contribute to the preparation of legislative proposals, to participate in legislative working groups and to actively engage the citizenry both in its activities and in monitoring the decision-making processes of other institutions. Finally, TI Lithuania will formulate a strategy and create an action plan for raising funds, prepare donation channels and conduct a publicity campaign, creating the conditions for citizens to fund the organization directly.
To successfully implement the project TI Lithuania will work together with the Norwegian Chapter of Transparency International. This organisation was established in 1999 and operates on a membership basis, with a permanent secretariat having been established in 2002. TI Norway primarily works in the following areas: the private sector, transparency in grant allocation and in the public sector, specifically in how it operates at the municipal level. In 2012, TI Norway started implementing its project, “Transparency, Honesty and Fighting Corruption in Local Government Institutions”; it has already prepared an anti-corruption guide for municipalities and is currently conducting training exercises and forming a network of municipalities, intending to involve them in further transparency initiatives. TILC will be making use of the extensive experience of the experts from TI Norway (who have worked with transparency in municipalities for a number of years) when preparing its methodology for its openness research and in preparing material for events and training at municipalities. In addition, representatives from TI Norway who were directly involved in these areas will be coming to Lithuania to conduct seminars.
This project is coordinated by the executive director of TI Lithuania, Sergejus Muravjovas (firstname.lastname@example.org), with assistance from project managers Karolis Granickas(email@example.com), Rūta Mrazauskaitė (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Rugilė Trumpytė (email@example.com), and project coordinator Raminta Rusovičiūtė (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Further information on the NGO Program in Lithuania is available at http://nvoprograma.lt/.